News and notes from around the league for April 17, 2013.
Thanks to Jason Martinez and Clint Chisam of MLB Depth Charts, we'll now be bringing you daily news, notes, transactions, injury updates, and notable performances from the previous day's games...throughout the entire season! And if you like what you see here, don't forget to check out MLBDC's Insider subscription, which also includes starting pitcher rankings and matchups, top 25 batter vs. pitcher stat rankings, lineup tracker (includes lineups from past seven games), rotation report, stat tracker, and more!
Probable Pitchers for April 17, 2013
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News and notes from around the league for April 6, 2013
As we begin the 2013 season, we introduce another new feature here at Baseball Prospectus. Thanks to Jason Martinez and Clint Chisam of MLB Depth Charts, we'll now be bringing you daily news, notes, transactions, injury updates, and notable performances from the previous day's games...throughout the entire season! (For the first full week of the new campaign, this feature will be completely free to all readers!)
And if you like what you see here, don't forget to check out MLBDC's Insider subscription (http://www.mlbdepthcharts.com/2013/02/mlbdepthcharts-insider.html), which also includes starting pitcher rankings and matchups, top 25 batter vs pitcher stat rankings, lineup tracker (includes lineups from past 7 games), rotation report, stat tracker, and more!
Josh Hamilton pulled off a rare feat on Tuesday night against the Orioles.
The Tuesday Takeaway
Step aside, Matt Kemp—there’s a new name atop the home run leaderboard. That would be Josh Hamilton, who hit not one, not two, not three, but four long balls at Camden Yards in the Rangers’ 10-3 win over the Orioles.
Hamilton, whose absurd 1.298 OPS still trails Kemp’s by seven points, went 5-for-5, adding a double to those homers to finish just one total base shy of Shawn Green’s single-game record of 19. He is the first player to hit four homers in a game since Carlos Delgado did it on September 25, 2003, the first Rangers player ever to accomplish the feat, and the second player to join the club against the Orioles. The other was the Indians’ Rocky Colavito on June 10, 1959.
Going team by team to determine which collection of hurlers is most imposing this October.
Nate Silver spent the final week of September 2006 evaluating playoff rotations in a manner reflected in his other work across various fields. The analysis was intuitive, yet innovative and unrivaled. What Silver incorporated that basic playoff rotation analyses often exclude is uneven workloads. Playoff teams may designate four starters, but they shift parts around due to the sporadic schedule and threat of extinction; after all, if a loss makes elimination inevitable, logic dictates having the best man lead the final surge.
The usage numbers Silver presented then are now dated, but the ones provided below are not, thanks to intern Bradley Ankrom. These new percentages include every postseason series since 1995, classifying the starters’ roles by their order of appearance in the playoffs. That means the number ones are the pitchers who started the team’s first playoff game, the number twos are those who started the team’s second playoff game, and so on. Some may note that this methodology may be skewed by the new playoff schedule, although until proven otherwise it should still provide more context than other tactics.
A look at Victor Martinez's strong 2011 season... aside from a perplexing lack of power.
Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 yesterday, which makes him 27 for his last 72—good for a robust .375 batting average during that time from the fantasy wasteland known as the catching position. Thankfully, Jim Leyland has made sure Martinez has caught at least 20 games this season, giving fantasy owners another season of Martinez behind the plate, but all is not well in Motown.
Reviewing the best and worst first-half position players on each team.
In the numerical sense, the halfway point of the season arrived about a week ago. However, the All-Star break marks the arbitrary end point of the first half, bringing a few days of festivities and vacations to the forefront. That period of inactivity in games that matter offers a window into the frozen stats for each team, allowing us to see who is leading the charge and who is failing the team so far.
In order to determine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, I’ll enlist the aid of the Wins Above Replacement metric. Next time, we’ll cover the pitchers, but for today, it’s all about the position players.
Which players off to a powerful start at the plate can expect to retain that production going forward?
In a season where offense is tough to come by, fantasy owners are looking in every nook and cranny and under every rock looking for power. Power hitters can effect three of the scoring categories in one swing of the bat, hence the premium price for it on draft day. The quick and dirty way to find power sleepers has traditionally been to look at players’ Isolated Power score, and find those batters who had a score of .200 or better. However, that is just one way to find your surprise power, because an attractive ISO this time of year may not be sustainable based on other peripherals. Here are a few players that are going to pop up on your ISO radar as you go searching for help.
Do the Yankees plate too many of their runners via the long ball?
In baseball, as George Carlin once said, the object of the game is to be safe at home. It’s a comforting feeling to reach home with another run on the board, and there is no surer means of accomplishing that feat than via the home run, which ensures that with one pitch, at least one run can cross the plate. For fans of the team who just launched the ball over the fence, the homer is the truest of the three true outcomes.
And yet, home runs have a way of bringing out the hand-wringing. Can a team hit too many home runs? It might be the most efficient way of scoring runs, but it’s over and done with very quickly. Those who fear the home run worry that it kills rallies; just recently in fact, the Daily News' Anthony McCarron worried that the AL East-leading New York Yankees were too reliant on home runs.